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Helpful answers to common puppy questions
Below is a list of common puppy questions we have gathered. Hopefully we can answer some of your questions you may have.
#1 House Training Your Puppy
House training your puppy takes time, patience, and positive reinforcement. According to WebMD, it typically takes 4-6 months to fully house train your puppy. And while you’re training, don’t worry if there are occasional setbacks. Your puppy will learn the procedure in time. Most experts agree that you should start housetraining when the puppy is between 12-16 weeks old. And as a general rule of thumb, your pup can hold it only for as many hours as his age in months. Experts recommend confining the puppy to a defined space, whether that means in a crate, in a room, or on a leash. As your puppy learns that they need to go outside to do their business, you can gradually give them more freedom to roam about the house.
When you start the process of house training, follow these steps:
- Set up a regular feeding schedule for your puppy and take their food away between meals.
- Take the puppy out to relieve itself first thing in the morning and then once every 30-60 minutes. Also, it’s good practice to take them outside after meals or when they wake from a nap. Make sure they relieve themselves right before you go to bed at night and before they are left alone.
- Take the puppy to the same spot each time to do their business. Their scent will prompt them to go.
- Stay with them while they go, at least until they are house trained.
- When your puppy relieves outside, praise them or give a treat. A walk around the neighborhood is a nice reward.
#2 What To Expect At My Puppies First Vet Visit
Taking your puppy to the vet soon after bringing him/her home is important for establishing healthy habits! Your vet will help answer some of your questions and will do an exam to ensure your puppy is healthy and will take your puppy’s vitals and ask for his health history. Depending on your puppy’s age and vaccination history, the veterinarian will administer the proper vaccinations. Your vet may also give deworming medication and suggest a flea and tick preventive if needed.
#3 How Much Does A Puppy Sleep?
Although puppies are little bundles of energy, they usually sleep around 18-20 hours a day. Your puppy may be a miniature tornado one minute, and the next he’s falling soundly asleep, almost mid-run. Sleep is essential to a healthy puppy, contributing to the necessary development of his central nervous system, brain, immune system, and muscles.
#4 How Much Should My Puppy Eat?
You can ask your breeder or vet for advice on the best brand and type of food for your puppy at his/her stage of life. Growing puppies should eat puppy food that is specially formulated to provide the necessary nutrients to fuel their growth spurts!
$5 How Can I Get My Puppy To Stop Chewing On Things?
- Proper training
- Don’t leave him/her unsupervised for extended times
- Keep him/her busy
- Give him/her chew toys
- Use chewing deterrents
#6 When can I start taking my puppy to the dog park?
Off-leash dog parks are such a great way for your best pal to socialize, have fun and get some good quality run-around time. Before you go, it’s wise to make sure your pup is willing and able to enjoy this unique environment without risking bad behavior toward other dogs, owners, or even you. Before taking your puppy around town, ensure that you have visited your veterinarian and your puppy has received a clean bill of health and all necessary vaccinations. Safely socializing your puppy is important to creating a well-rounded dog, but you don’t want to create a negative first impression of the park by taking him too soon. To many dogs at once can be very overwhelming for a puppy, so start by introducing your puppy to dogs one at a time. Understand some basic dog park safety tips before venturing out to your community park.
#7 When Should My Puppy Get Spayed Or Neutered?
In general, puppies should be spayed or neutered before they reach the age of sexual maturity (usually 5 or 6 months old) to prevent unwanted offspring. Talk to your veterinarian about the best age to spay or neuter your puppy.
#8 Should I get pet insurance?
A lot of owners consider getting pet insurance when they bring home their new puppy. Puppies are curious creatures and often get into trouble. When you have insurance, it’s comforting to know when an accident or illness occurs, you won’t be on the hook for large medical bills and can focus on your puppy feeling better. Do your research on your pet insurance options and know what is and is not covered before purchasing a policy!
#9 How can I stop my puppy from whining in his crate?
- Give your puppy plenty of exercise.
Make sure to consider crate placement.
Make sure to provide plenty of potty breaks.
Get your puppy comfortable with the crate.
Pick the right-size crate.
Ignore the whining behavior.
#10 How can I tell if my puppy is sick?
- They are lethargic, not acting normally, or does not want to play
- The abdomen seems bloated or painful
- There is a large amount of fluid being lost through vomiting or diarrhea
- There is blood in the vomit or diarrhea
- The puppy that’s sick is not responding to a bland diet
- There is a suspicion of an infectious cause (more than one dog is affected, or a member of the family is also displaying symptoms)
If you are in question about your dog’s well-being, contact your local veterinarian.
#11 How Much Do Vaccinations Cost?
Shots typically vary from $60 to $300. The difference in price can be due to:
- Using C3, C4, or C5 vaccines
- The number of visits your puppy will need
- Whether worming, flea control, or heartworm prevention are included
- When your puppy can go out
Rather than just asking the cost of a single vaccine, ask for the TOTAL cost of the puppy package including heartworm, flea, and intestinal worm treatments.
#12 How Do I Train A Puppy Not To Bite?
Puppies love to bite and just explore the world with their mouths. It’s like trying to teach a baby not to put things in its mouth.
Here’s what may help:
- DON’T play games where the puppy bites your hands
- Try to distract a puppy that’s prone to bite with a toy
- Watch to see what makes your puppy bite and avoid the triggers
- Recognize the ‘over-tired’ puppy and learn to settle it down
- Distract or walk away without making a fuss if you can’t stop it’s biting
- Try acting like it hurts by making a big “Oww”
Play biting slowly improves once a dog starts teething but it may never go away completely.
#13 When Do Puppies Lose Their Baby Teeth?
Puppies usually begin teething at around 3 weeks, and by approximately 6 weeks, all of their “baby” teeth will have erupted. The incisors (at the front of the mouth) and the canine teeth (the fangs) erupt first, followed by the premolars. Dogs do not have any baby molars. At around 12 weeks, the baby teeth begin to fall out, and the permanent teeth begin to erupt. Normally by 6 months of age, all permanent teeth have erupted, and all baby teeth have fallen out.
#14 What Do I Do If My Pup Eats Something Bad?
Acting fast could save your dog’s life. Contact your local vet immediately for an emergency appointment if your dog has eaten something harmful. Never wait to see if a problem develops – your dog could become very ill or even die without treatment.
You know your dog – if you’re concerned it’s always best to contact your vet, even if you’re not quite sure whether they have eaten something harmful.
#15 What human foods can my puppy eat?
People’s food should only be given as a treat, not as a staple diet. As a general rule, what’s healthy for you is more likely to be healthy for your pets, too. Here are some examples:
- Lean meat
DO NOT feed your puppy:
- Macadamia nuts
- Or sweets flavored with artificial sweeteners like xylitol.
Taking care of a puppy may seem overwhelming or difficult at times, but always remember to enjoy your pal and spend as much time with him/her as you can. Having a pet can be extremely rewarding and having a companion and friend by your side can create a bond that can last a lifetime. Find your puppy pal today by going to our available puppies page, and check us out on Facebook by clicking here.